Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Losing our Sea Legs! Sunday, June 16th

Today is Father’s Day! We got up and gave out the cards to Grandpop and Keith at breakfast. I told Keith that our plan for a Father’s Day gift was to get him the week Spa Pass when we were sailing on Epic next week so he would have a place to go to relax every day. He seemed to like that idea, but then again he also felt like in a week with only one sea day, he wouldn’t be able to make full use of it. We’d think about it. Maybe just a massage instead.

We went to the Windjammer one last time and then carried our own luggage off, as we had a driver coming at 8:30 to take up to Termini train station for our train to Venice. We decided not to take the train from Civitavecchia to Termini since Mimi and G-pop would have to walk their luggage from the Port to the Civitavecchia station, and the once at Termini possibly have to take their luggage up steps to transfer trains. Convenience of the driver won out here and it was well worth it.

We walked off the ship very quickly and found our driver from Walks Of Italy, who we would be using for several tours while we would be in Rome later. When you book multiple tours you receive a discount, so our transfers were with them as well. 

We arrived at Termini with plenty of time to spare. We had prepurchased our tickets to Venice on the Trenitalia website and rather than cutting it close on the earlier train, we had booked the 10:50 train. Better have time to wait, than rush we figured!

Of course we now had more than an hour at the train station. However, we were very pleasantly surprised at how clean the train station was! We found a cafĂ© with a table for 6 and room for our luggage next to the table. We sat down, had some brioches, croissants and cappuccinos and relaxed for that time. We really couldn’t get over the quality of the food in a train station! It was all so fresh!

Here we are the train station - is it really that difficult to get a picture of the three of us all looking at the camera? Apparently the answer would be yes!! 

We each also got a Panini for the ride, well, except Megan who couldn’t resist getting McDonalds! Our track was posted and we had no problem finding our train. Now, when I booked the train, I couldn’t seem to get 6 seats in one transaction, so my parents ended up in one car and the 4 of us in the next car. Not a problem. I was able to pick seats right at the end of each car near where the luggage was so we could keep an eye on our bags. 

However when walking to our train I said out loud to Megan and my mom, “now you’re car 6 and we’re in car 5” and that’s when apparently we got “gypsied!” as the kids say!

 A woman totally latched on to us and even though she never really helped us, she kept telling us which car to go to. We firmly told her we knew and didn’t need help. Keith and Alex were ahead of us and knew where to go. She waited at the entrance to the train and pointed to where to put the luggage – we told her firmly “we know” and Alex told her to go away – we know. She then rearranged the luggage “for us” and followed us to our seats holding our her hand. I told her that she didn’t help us. She just stood there. So I gave her four 1 Euro coins and she said she wanted FIVE Euros from EACH of us! I told her NO WAY! That she didn’t help us at all! Finally she left and moved on to help others. I was pretty annoyed that she tried to take advantage of us, but at least I was able to get away with only giving her 4 Euros, I suppose! 

Anyway, we felt pretty proud of ourselves that we managed to successfully navigate our first Italian train trip. We got through the station, luggage and all and onto the correct train and into our seats! We settled in for our approx. 3 ½ hour ride to Venice. We played some Uno, tried to nap and just enjoyed the scenery. It was a great way to travel. Although I will say, with the four of us facing one another the leg room was a bit cramped! 

And as always - Alex manages to get comfortable no matter where and get his sleep in.  I guess when one stays out until past midnight every night, one sleeps when one can!  The life of a teen!  

Next up, our arrival in Venice! What would we think...people seem to either love it or hate it....we heard it all before we left - would it smell? Would it be too hot? Or would it be everything we thought it would be? Hmmm.....

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